Signs Of House Water Damage

What are those weird black spots in the corners of my walls? Why is my paint peeling? My water bill has been unusual the past few months, why is that? And what in the world is this weird and somewhat musty smell? 

If you’re asking yourself some or all of these questions, you’re probably seeing typical signs of water damage. Hold on, no reason to panic. First, we’ll go over what exactly you should look for to verify you have water damage in your house and then what to do next. Stay tuned!

In a Hurry? Here Are Quick Signs to Take and Inspect For:

  1. Increased water bills
  2. Mold
  3. Musty odors
  4. Uneven/warping floors
  5. Water sounds
  6. Peeling paint
  7. Wall stains and cracks

Need further insight? Wonder what to do next? Great, keep on reading!

water damaged walls

Water Damage Signs to Look Out For

Let’s cover each of the bulleted signs from the first paragraph in more detail. 

Increased water bills

If your wallet is suffering due to increased water bills, even if everything seems fine on the surface, stay on high alert. Your wallet could take a much harder hit down the line if the leak keeps going at it for months (or years). Inspect for a leak if you have a suspicious water bill lately. 


The most obvious visible sign of water damage is mold. If it exists in a property, it poses a health risk to all family members, including pets. One of the most dangerous mold species, Black Mold (officially known as Stachybotrys chartarum), can go as far as to cause respiratory problems

The tricky thing about mold is that it can sometimes be hard to detect. Mold grows in dark and damp areas, often lurking in the shadows. However, if you have a lot of it, it can be pretty hard to miss unless you don’t check the room very often (like, for example, the basement). Furthermore, mold is usually followed by a very unpleasant, musty odor.

If you’ve noticed that but you can’t see mold, perhaps you should do a little more digging or even hire a professional mold inspector to help you. But there’s a catch…

Musty Odors

Presence of musty and damp odor doesn’t ALWAYS have to be a sign of mold, only water damage. We don’t need to describe how dampness smells – stale and pungent, exceptionally uncomfortable. Sniff around if you’ve noticed such a smell and try to find a leak. Be careful though, inhaling too much of this smell can potentially cause you to feel dizzy and nauseous. Use your own judgment to tell if you can access the potentially hazardous area on your own.

Uneven/warping floors

In this case, depending on the situation, you may WANT the cause to be water damage instead of something else. That “something else” can happen to be foundation damage which at times can be extensive and very expensive to fix. 

In a nightmare scenario, water damage occurred in your basement and has damaged the home’s foundation, potentially to the point of it being irreparable. 

Please note that this does not AT ALL have to be the case. Most of the time, your hardwood floors simply warped due to a leak. Do further investigation, please.

Water sounds

Weird dripping sounds that keep your children awake at night? No, it’s not ghosts but there’s still a reason for concern. Inspect for a leak if these sounds are persistent, especially if some of the previously mentioned signs are also present.

Peeling paint

Peeling paint can be caused by multiple things, but one of the most common perpetrators is water damage. To simplify, paint doesn’t get along with moisture and dampness, and it starts flaking off due to the paint’s adhesion being weakened. 

If you’ve properly painted your walls and they were clean prior, there’s a good chance that your paint is peeling because of water damage. 

A good tip we’ve mentioned above for you to use if you’re unsure is to look for all or multiple signs from this list, not just one. You may be unsure if the peeling was caused by water damage, but when combined with presence of mold and bad smells you do get a very clear answer in most cases.

Wall stains and cracks

Wall cracks can be caused simply because of the house “settling” and those pose a tiny annoyance inexpensive to fix. However, wall cracks AND stains/discoloration can indicate a leak. The discoloration is typically light brown or beige.

And that wraps it up! So, what to do now?

If you’ve identified water damage in your house, just follow the next steps. 

How to Deal With Water Damage

Water damage doesn’t necessarily always result in a disaster, although it’s best to act quickly and not give it any chances! By promptly responding to the issue, or hiring a professional who will promptly respond for you, you can mitigate the damage and repair your property fully. However, more severe cases will pose a bigger challenge, one you definitely don’t want to DIY. 

Call Big D Water Damage Restoration if you can’t or don’t want to deal with the damage yourself. Our professionals know exactly how to act and what equipment to use in each case. For a 5-star water damage restoration service, pick up the phone and call (469) 750-3109.

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